Two years on from a debut album awash with punk spirit and scorching blues-rock, the London trio Noisettes return with Wild Young Hearts
, a set of sleek pop songs steeped in soul, dizzy on disco and harking back to the days of blues and jazz greats. From the stomping electro-rock of "Saturday Night" and galloping funk grooves of first single "Don’t Upset The Rhythm", to the joyous, jazzy title track, the glorious ‘60s-tinged soul of "Never Forget You" and the sultry, shimmering pop of "24 Hours", in Wild Young Hearts
, Noisettes have made what is set to be one of 2009’s most adventurous albums.
Striding confidently from indie venues to the glamour of a major label, Noisettes have shed the rawness and rough edges from their music without compromising on quality. Wild Young Hearts sways from vintage disco to quite angry 21st Century rock with poise, elegance and a shiny crystalline production that gives singer/bassist Shingai Shoniwa the showcase her vocals deserve.
Noisettes are clearly a classy bunch of people who understand the value of restraint, careful lyrical delivery, and spotless songcraft. The reflections of Dusty Springfield's brit-soul ballads that glint in the set's sadder outings are beautifully illuminated by touches of jazz guitar and shaded by discreet swirls of perfectly-positioned keyboard. Lust, regret, teenage crushes and frenetic long-distance yearning all get the Noisettes treatment and come out box-fresh and sweet-smelling. This is stylish pop that's not afraid to look into the darker side of life.
When the mood changes and Shoniwa's voice is bouncing off cheerful biscuit-tin drum rattles and spurts of distorted guitar (courtesy Dan Smith and Jamie Morrison) the band moves effortlessly into playground clapping songs evocative of the Marvellettes at their best. The single Don't Upset The Rhythm charted high and set a tough standard for the season's other seaside club hits to match - full of the uplifting 'hands in the air' joys of spring, it's the most exuberant moment of a thoroughly interesting album. --Al Spicer
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